Anti-Utopian novels are generally used as a call to action. Is that true here or doe sthis novel have another point?
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This is a dystopian novel to be sure. Atwood has themes of religion, fascism and complacency. I think, however, that the novel has a decidedly feminist message and I certainly don't mean that in a bad way. Atwood addresses the issue of women’s bodies as political instruments. We have seen this in other dystopian novels like Orwell's epic 1984. In Handmaid's Tale Atwood gives uses woman's bodies as a strictly a political tool. Women as life givers are subjugated by a patriarchal theocracy; they are merely receptacles for birthing. One can draw interesting parallels with our own society. Women are taught from an early age that their inherent value is based on their sexual traits. As women age past their primary childbearing years, their "powers" in society seem to fade. I'm not sure if this is Atwood's main message but as I read the novel I kept thinking of the fashion magazines where younger and younger girls are passed off as the ideal symbol of femininity.